Shelter, protection and legal assistance to women victim of GBV

Bethlehem, 22 August 2019 – The Italian Cooperation is continuously supporting the Mehwar Centre since its establishment in 2007. The Mehwar is the first anti-violence center in Palestine and in the Region that provides shelter, protection, legal advice to women survivors of gender-based violence and supports them their successful reintegration into the community.

During the last monitoring visit payed at the Center, we collected few but relevant oral histories by a social worker, highlighting the crucial importance of Mehwar for women victim of gender-based violence.

I am proud to be working at the Mehwar Centre. We have 12 women and 2 children living in the shelter at the moment. I am so proud of working here, but I have to admit that it is hard sometimes. I feel very affected by their stories and it’s hard to detach and go back to my normal life at the end of the shift. But I’m so proud of all of them”.

The girls really wanted me to show you their handicrafts that they worked on here in the creative lab. They all agree how helpful it is to be able to learn about new skills and to focus on making crafts. They learn embroidery and how to use the sowing machines and can make their own shirts and blouses”.

The gym opens weekly to welcome the women from the local community who come here to exercise with a trainer, together with those staying at the shelter“.

Do you see this mural? Together with the paintings that decorate the shelter and our offices, it was painted by a woman who survived gender-based violence. She expressed her passion for painting during her very first interview when she entered the shelter. Thanks to the WELOD 3 programme of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, she is now studying Art at the university and will graduate next year”.

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